Three Poems by Brett Fletcher Lauer

BOMB 87 Spring 2004
087 Spring 2004 1024X1024

Home of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company

Throughout Winter

The occasion is marked with impurities, with swans
quieted or frozen, with minor crimes committed near nightfall,

with bottles and bottles of wine, with Possibly until No,
until there is no one left in the mirror. I rise to look

in the mirror. Gone are the days of finding myself
in the mirror, of celebrating victory: whistles, streamers,

and the objects that shake down like blooms. Their absence
is troublesome. The occasion is marked with gardens wild

and belling throughout winter. With a well-kept air I explain
I am a fixed principle, then bury my hands. Thus I am marked

throughout winter. Thus I rise and stand in line
to be marked throughout winter. Gone are the days chiseled

from stone. Gone the days this was a town. Gone those
who spoke of fleeing. Gone the days of sand and hourglass;

the lions are pacing at the gates. I explain my tears,
shift from one vessel to another and taste of anise, then

bury my hands until I am unsure my hands are my hands,
are such a fixed principle. Gone are the days of wine and

the glass to fill with it. Gone the chiseled stone like a tattoo
of a name. Thus I change the tattoo of my name into a lion’s profile

and bleed for days. The absence of a name is troublesome.
The occasion will be marked with a long winter, will be fixed

and etched in the mirror. The mirror will be hung at the gate.



It is worth speaking of ends, or a circular
room that will not still on command, but
then, eventually exhausted, regains its composure.

This is a tendency, this is a fiction: The room
is a person talking to overcome a degree
of nervousness. I should stop, a degree implies

enough. Perhaps more: I cannot be certain
that this body will eventually rest, become a pasture.
What is enough is to sleep, for a memory to shudder

and take a form; to recall the sun is a body of light,
a body that could break at any point, arrive suddenly
to earth as artifact. The mind, no matter its logic,

its written description, veers toward an eternity
grazing on itself, more submissive than will be
remembered. And rather than take a breath to say

the light that filtered down was breathtaking or
the room we occupy is a perfect square, as perfection
cannot be imagined, or rather than speak of what

the air that moves through the room happens
to be thinking. Say nothing. Someone else will
rise to the occasion. Instead let me be anxious

with beginnings, as the first sound of morning does
not bend the limbs, but for a moment stiffens, and
then back to sleep; as a halo is returned to its place

as atmosphere, to fall again as noose, to fall again always.


Expressions of Wildness, Dreaminess, Nervousness & Spaciousness

Beneath me, I acknowledge traces
of existence: knotted blue air untangling

in waves. The air wavers, the night comes
in increments, as white powder is slipped

into a drink. I must swallow or I must shake.
Everything injures my judgment. The body

too long without forgets when it was with.
I cover up & keep my belief overcast.

There are no new mechanisms only more
gradations to suffering, to headache, to tremor.

I decide to open to a “new way of thinking.”
A premonition arrives with harps and small bells

determined to be released. Each note creates
a digression. I must remember

to integrate with the blue air.
My body is full of moons,

impossible to cut, they are a field of energy
insomuch as there is a potential for shattering.

Nothing justifies that I barely move
of my own cognition, that the stars are in the sky

with predictions, & that their prophecies
are meant for you alone.

—Brett Fletcher Lauer is the Poetry in Motion Director at the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of CROWD magazine. His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, the Electronic Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.

Originally published in

BOMB 87, Spring 2004

Featuring interviews with John Waters, Shirley Jaffe, James Welling, Nuruddin Farah, Alma Guillermoprieto, Olu Oguibe, Hanif Kureishi, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, and Howe Gelb.

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